Healing From Complex Trauma & PTSD/CPTSD

A journey to healing from complex trauma.


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8 Ways For Complex Trauma Survivors To Build Self Esteem & Self Care ~ Lilly Hope Lucario

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Complex trauma is ongoing and/or repeated interpersonal trauma/abuse, caused with a captivity environment, where there is no perceived way to escape.

If this is endured within childhood, the child often fails to learn self care, appropriate boundaries and fails to develop a healthy self esteem.

For adults enduring complex trauma e.g. domestic violence- the self esteem and capacity for self care the survivor may have previously had – can be slowly destroyed, reduced and can become almost non existent.


Self esteem and self care are linked. They both lead to an increase in self worth, which complex trauma survivors can have a lack of.

The following is 8 ways a survivor can start to build, or re-build healthy self esteem, self care.

1. Know The Abuse Was Never Deserved

A survivor of complex trauma, often feels the abuse they endured, was in some way their fault. The perpetrators of the abuse often tell the survivor it is their fault, as a way of shifting blame to the victim. And this is another layer of the trauma endured.

It is needed to know – the victim was never at fault, the abuse was never deserved, nothing the victim did or did not do – means they are at fault, in any way.

The responsibility for the abuse was always 100% the perpetrators.

The accountability for the perpetrators actions, lies 100% with the perpetrator.

No-one should be blaming, shaming or shifting shame, about abuse. Including the survivor.

Part of healing is to come to understand this.

2. Self Talk About What A Survivor Does Deserve

Once a survivor fully understands they did not ever deserve to be abused, they can begin to have the self talk needed, as to what they do deserve. And always deserved.

A survivor deserves to be treated with dignity, respect, care, kindness and compassion. And they always did deserve this. The fact that someone abused them, does not in any way mean they deserved to be abused or mistreated.

Developing this positive self talk, takes time. It doesn’t happen overnight. It takes times to re-wire belief systems and the way we talk to ourselves.

This is vital, for the healing to begin.

3. Understand Healthy Emotional Boundaries

During complex trauma/ongoing abuse, appropriate boundaries are trampled over, by the perpetrator. This includes emotional and physical boundaries.

If the survivor was abused in childhood, often the child does not learn appropriate and healthy boundaries, as they were never modelled. Learning healthy boundaries, can be a difficult step, but it is possible. Continue reading


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Focussing on building the life I always deserved ~ Lilly Hope Lucario

I’ve not been having the best few weeks, with my counselling ending so badly, plus other issues in my life I have to endure for some time yet.

I have a ladies group I have been running now for a year and it going so well. At my last ladies group we had such a lovely time. It was our Christmas get-together, we had a secret Santa, and I brought decorations and decorated the table – which the ladies thought was lovely.

Today, was our last meet before Christmas, and the ladies were just delightful to be with. Some ladies have some personal issues and we talk about that. But, we also have chat about nice things too and have some giggles.

I really feel like I can be myself around the ladies. I joke a bit and they like that – it always makes them laugh. I can also be the kooky person I am, and they are accepting of that. They know I have had a ‘difficult’ childhood, but I haven’t elaborated on that. And I don’t intend to, because I can’t handle anymore hurt and rejection about my trauma history.

I am happy to just focus on other things about my life to talk about. They are very encouraging of my photography career and ask me questions and are interested. Which is nice because no-one has ever really been interested in what I do, other than to put me down.

So, it’s nice to have genuine encouragement and I am appreciative of that. I’m looking forward to catching up with them in the new year. Continue reading


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Surround yourself with good people ~ Lilly Hope Lucario

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I no longer choose to be around people who don’t want the best for me.

I have no issue with removing people from my life who have non genuine motivations.

I have no desire to be around those who use and abuse others.

I no longer feel the need to give any attention to those who criticise me, put me down, mock, scorn, ridicule, invalidate or any other toxic behaviours.

I have no feeling of responsibility for toxic people.

And what is even better – is I have no desire to even think about these people, what their issues are, or why they are behaving the way they do.

Those days are over.

I don’t care to give them any attention, any longer.

I choose now, to only surround myself with good people who are genuine, have good motivations and want the best for others.

Who I associate with, connect with, spend time with, give my energy to, allow into my inner circle …. will be a reflection of all I always deserved – good people. Continue reading


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I realised, I needed to be much tougher. And that’s not a bad thing ~ Lilly Hope Lucario

All my life, I have tolerated unhealthy and abusive issues from others and never stood up for myself. Abuse was my ‘normal’ – from as far back as I ever remember.

I’m aware my childhood created the very vigilant, very intuitive person I am – who was also a doormat to anyone else’s toxic issues. I was groomed to tolerated it.

It always went really badly – when I tried to stand up for myself. Because when toxic people see their victims are going to resist/object to what they are doing – they turn up the heat on their toxic behaviours. Which is done intentionally – to stop the victim from resisting or objecting.

This pattern of not objecting or resisting continued on, all my life. Until about a year ago, when I started to realise I had every right to tell people to take a hike and they were not welcome in my life – in any form.

I had to fight with my self over this – to not feel like I was doing the wrong thing. It ‘felt’ wrong – to have boundaries with toxic people. It wasn’t my normal and I always had considerable anxiety at having boundaries, and standing up for myself – because of the history of being treated worse – when I tried.

Now, after more recent issues occurring in my life……. I really am at a stage where I am O.V.E.R. dealing with other people’s issues and I do not in any way now – feel responsible for helping them, or dealing with their issues.

I have healed enough and developed enough self esteem – to insist people behave in a way that meets my requirements for behaviour/attitude, or they will not be in my life.

I am tougher now. And I am glad to feel that anxiety about this – having gone.

I have standards and people have to meet them, or they are out.

This doesn’t mean I hate them, or want anything bad to happen to them. It doesn’t mean I don’t want the best for them – I do. So, no wrong judgments and assumptions needed – about how I feel about toxic people.

But, I simply do not have any desire to have toxic people in my life, in any way. And wherever possible, they will be removed from my life.

I have realised I need to protect my empathic self, from those who do not deserve it. And people do need to earn my respect and my empathy. People don’t get to demand or expect that from me anymore.

I feel stronger and tougher, than I have ever been in my life.

And I see how badly I was previously treated – by not having this strength of emotional boundaries, self esteem and toughness.

This doesn’t mean I no longer have empathy – but I am very selective as to whom I give that to.

It doesn’t make me compassionate – to be a doormat to other people’s toxicity. That made me vulnerable and easily preyed upon.

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Toxic people don’t play fair, and they look for vulnerable people. Continue reading


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Looking at photography courses :)

I love capturing beauty all around me and taking photos of my family, my dog, my gardens. It is a way of being mindful, have gratitude and a healthy focus for my life, which is part of my healing.

I was going to start a Uni counselling degree next year, but I am delaying that for a year. I know I am not mentally up for starting a full time degree yet. I spoke to my therapist, who confirmed I am still in the processing and grieving stage, and a full time Uni course, may be too overwhelming. And certain things have occurred lately, that have shown me I may well not be able to cope with a full time, very challenging counselling course.

But, a 1 year photography diploma, I could handle.

A part time job as a photographer, would be a lovely career to start. And I could take my younger son with me on shoots. So I would not need to book things around my husbands shifts. Plus, I know how to run a business, I know how to set up a website. All things that will help.

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I know there is a 1 year diploma course, near to where I live. It’s 3 days a week. And the government may pay for the fees. So as long as that is possible and I can book a flexible place at my son’s outside school hours care facility, I could start in February.

So, this week I will be checking out all the things I need in place, to be able to commit to the course. And see if it is possible. Continue reading